JOE TUCCIARONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOE TUCCIARONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Early Earth. Artwork of the Earth about 4 billion years ago, as seen from the Moon. The Earth's surface is covered with clouds, indicating the presence of an atmosphere with a warm & humid climate. In the background are blue wisps of gas and dust which are being blown away by the solar wind, a stream of charged particles from the newly-born Sun. The Earth and the other objects in the solar system formed from a disk of gas and dust. Parts of this cloudy disk condensed, the particles within it being drawn together through gravitational attraction. The Moon at this time was much closer to the Earth than it is today.
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